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Specimens of Bushman Folklore, by W.H.I. Bleek and L.C. Lloyd, [1911], at


The Bushmen perceive Canopus, they say to a child: "Give me yonder piece of wood, that I may put (the end of) it (in the fire), that I may point (it) burning (towards) grandmother, for, grandmother carries Bushman rice; grandmother shall make a little warmth for us; for she coldly comes out; the sun[1] shall warm grandmother's eye for us."

Sirius comes out; the people call out to one another: Sirius comes yonder; they say to one another Ye must burn (a stick) for us (towards) Sirius." They say to one another: "Who was it who saw Sirius?" One man says to the other: "Our brother saw Sirius." The other man says to him:

[1. The sun is a little warm, when this star appears in winter.]

I saw Sirius."[1] The other man says to him: "I wish thee to burn (a stick) for us (towards) Sirius; that the sun may shining come out for us; that Sirius may not coldly come out." The other man (the one who saw Sirius) says to his son: "Bring me the (small) piece of wood yonder, that I may put (the end of) it (in the fire), that I may burn (it) towards grandmother; that grandmother may ascend the sky, like the other one, Canopus."

The child brings him the piece of wood, he (the father) holds (the end of) it in (the fire). He points (it) burning towards Sirius; he says that Sirius shall twinkle like Canopus. He sings; he sings (about) Canopus, he sings (about) Sirius; he points to them with fire,[2] that they may twinkle like each other. He throws fire at them. He covers himself up entirely (including his head) in (his) kaross and lies down.

He arises, he sits down; while he does not again lie down; because he feels that he has worked, putting Sirius into the sun's warmth; so that Sirius may warmly come out.

The women go out early to seek for Bushman rice; they walk, sunning their shoulder blades.[3]

[1. ||Ukoa-ggu, "Canopus," and !kuttau, "Sirius," are both female stars, ||kabbo says.

2. With the stick that he had held in the fire, moving it up and down quickly.

3. They take one arm out of their kaross, thereby exposing one shoulder blade to the sun.]


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